Central Conference of American Rabbis Outraged at the Mass Murder in Orlando

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


The Central Conference of American Rabbis mourns the tragic deaths of the precious souls at the hands of a hate-filled terrorist in Orlando, Florida. The Talmud teaches that one who kills a single human being has committed a crime tantamount to destroying the world. Terror is destroying our world.

This is not the first time that evil murderers have turned their weapons on members of the LGBTQ community. Reform rabbis are outraged that LGBTQ people have been massacred because of their gender identity and sexual orientation.

Reform rabbis have long been champions of LGBTQ rights in the United States and around the world. We are both angered and grieved that hate and violence have once again been directed at the LGBTQ community, and with such devastating impact.

We know that words matter, and we call upon political and religious leaders to change their tone. Words matter, and the way some characterize and speak about our fellow human beings and in particular the LGBTQ community, create an environment that sadly ends in such heinous acts. We are all, each and every one of us in all our infinite variety, created in the image of God. Let us always remember that, and call on our leaders to remember this as well.

We add our voices to the chorus of mourners over the devastating loss of human life in Orlando. May their memories forever be a blessing to their family, friends, and community. We pray for healing for the injured and consolation for the bereaved.

We also know that words are not enough. Our thoughts and prayers, our moments of silence, are not enough. We call on all Americans to raise our collective voices about the scourge of gun violence. We call on our nation’s leaders to have the courage to take the decisive action needed to end the epidemic of gun violence. We can be counted upon to do the same in the days, months, and years ahead.

We look forward to the day, foretold by the ancient prophets of Israel and promised by God, when violence and desolation may be known no more on Earth, when all may dwell in security, and none will live in fear.

Rabbi Denise L. Eger            Rabbi Steven A. Fox
President                             Chief Executive

Central Conference of American Rabbis